The government has been urged to show its commitment towards Sabah’s right to claim 40% of any extra tax revenue from oil resources in the state.
Wilfred Madius Tangau (PH-Tuaran) said Sabahans continue to feel cheated by the federal government.
“This 40% is our right. Don’t equate that with the special grants (given by Putrajaya). You must bring it to the Cabinet to decide, or else, we will continue with our court case,” he said.
The Sabah Law Society (SLS) had filed a judicial review application in June last year following an April 14 announcement by the federal and state governments of a special five-year annual grant of RM125.6 million to Sabah.
The Sabah government subsequently applied to the court and was allowed to intervene as a respondent in the action.
In the suit, SLS alleged that the federal government, named as the respondent, had breached the constitution by failing to conduct a review every five years starting from 1974.
It also claimed that the federal government was obliged to pay Sabah 40% of it’s share of tax revenue derived from the state in each of the intervening years since 1974.
Tangau’s response comes after Sabah and Sarawak affairs and special functions minister Armizan Ali spoke about the number of special grants given to Sabah over the years by Putrajaya, instead of answering his questions on Article 112C of the Federal Constitution concerning oil revenue to Sabah.
Armizan said he would not touch on the subject as it was now a matter for the courts. Earlier, he revealed that Sabah would be given RM666.8 million in special grants from 2022 to 2026.
Shafie Apdal (Warisan-Semporna) said while the federal government had raised the annual special grant to RM56 million when Lim Guan Eng was finance minister, it was not the amount that the state was entitled to.
“Bagan at that time raised it from RM25 million to RM56 million. I agreed because we needed the money. But I disagreed with the formula.
“It has been over 60 years since we (Malaysia) have been together and yet, we in Sabah continue to face water cuts and no electricity.
“All this when 37% of Petronas’ oil is from Sabah’s waters and the largest gas fields are from Sarawak. But we in Sabah only received RM25 million yearly since 1974,” he said.